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Older Lover
Feb. 14, 2005

Dear Galen

I am 14 years old and I have a really great boyfriend. The problem is that I have to keep him a secret. My boyfriend is 28. He's not bad or anything and he hasn't even tried to do anything to me. We just hang out and stuff. We kiss and make out and we've like touched and stuff like that but that's all. I really wish I could introduce him to my parents and he could pick me up and we could go on real dates and stuff. Do you think I should tell my parents or just keep it a secret like we've been doing?


Dear [Anonymous]

This is a tricky situation. First, I'm glad to hear that he's a nice guy and that he's not trying to take advantage of you. That would be most people's first concern in this situation. I'm very relieved to know that he's treating you with respect and as long as he continues to treat you with the respect you deserve, I don't see a problem with this relationship from a moral standpoint.

However, there are other concerns besides morality. You said that the two of you make out and "touch" (by this I assume you mean petting/foreplay type stuff). You should know that unless you live in Canada (where the age of consent is 14), what your boyfriend is doing is very much illegal. Even without having penetrative sexual intercourse, he can still be charged with "sexual assault of a minor." I don't know where you live though, so this may not apply to you.

As to whether or not you should tell your parents, well, that depends. If your relationship is an illegal one then telling your parents would almost certainly be a one-way ticket to jail for your boyfriend and to court-ordered therapy for you. If your relationship is not illegal, then you have to consider how your parents would react. Would they try to put a stop to it? Would they ground you and forbid you from seeing him ever again? You know your parents well enough to judge how they would react, so that decision is up to you.

My advice to you, my dear, is that you should tone your relationship down for now. Maybe see him less often and let things be less intense when you do see him. I'm sure all the fooling around is fun, but try to keep in mind what could happen to you both because of it. No, the law isn't fair and it shouldn't be any of the government's business what you and your boyfriend do together, however it's still the law and the consequences will still be very very real if you are caught. The law, however, doesn't say that you can't be a couple, just that you can't have a physical relationship. Keep the sexual stuff out of the picture until you're "of age" and things on the legal front should be ok.

So, you don't have to break up with him, but do take things down a notch (or two) to stay safely within the legal boundaries. Of course, if you are in Canada and this relationship is perfectly legal, then to hell with what anyone else thinks! Do what makes you happy and anybody who doesn't like it can go fuck themselves!


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